1. Jolly, rotund and hardworking, Santa is clearly a man who enjoys the hearty seasonal fare provided by excitable children on Christmas Eve. The evidence of St Nicholas’ sizeable appetite can be seen on Christmas morning when the previous evening’s offering has transformed into a scattering of crumbs and empty glass, an illusion which may be shattered if your child creeps out of bed to discover her parents with a mouthful of mince pies and a half empty bottle of port. Waiting until after bedtime before you tuck in will save tears all round.
2. The time honoured tradition of writing a Christmas list to send off to the rounded fellow in red is a very important part of the festive experience for children, so resist temptation to become too decisive over what can and cannot go in. Gently suggesting that Santa may not be able to carry more than three toys is infinitely preferable to loudly exclaiming that you will not be splashing out your hard-earned money on the entire Lego Star Wars collection.
3. Whilst lucky Father Christmas has a workshop full of elves and seemingly unlimited resources with which to adorn the perfect present, busy parents may find using the same roll of wrapping paper for everyone’s gifts to be a wonderfully efficient system. The junior detective in your family may beg to differ on Christmas morning when he is eying up his two identical parcels and wondering how Mrs Claus manages to get to M&S in the North Pole.
4. Children who live in houses without chimneys are often quick to question the legitimacy of Santa’s present delivery methods. While sometimes a simple explanation of “because he’s magic” will suffice, more imaginative answers could include, “he has a special key that opens everyone’s door”, “he can shrink himself down to squeeze under the door” or the distinctly less magical “he comes up through the sewers”.
5. When masquerading as Father Christmas, it is important to be a surreptitious Santa to avoid getting caught red handed delivering presents. Arranging for stockings to be hung above the fireplace or on a banister instead of at the end of the bed should avoid any ‘rabbit in the headlights’ moments when you get caught delivering what should have been the contents of Santa’s sack.